I wanted to use my first post with FibroAid to be a bit of an introduction to everyone reading. My intention is for you to get to know a little bit about me and my fibromyalgia journey so you can feel like you know me a bit when reading the blog posts to come!
First off, I’m so incredibly excited for this opportunity to blog for FibroAid. I’ve been taking this supplement for a little while now, and while I still have symptoms and flares, they are much more under control! So, needless to say, I totally believe in this product. But if you’re here reading this, you probably know what I mean! Or, at least, you’re intrigued by the possibilities.
So who am I? Why should you listen to me? Well let’s start with that first question:
Your New FibroAid Blogger
My name is Shannon and I’m a 24 year old focusing on living my best like despite chronic illness. I recently finished my Master’s of Agricultural Economics at Colorado State University and am diligently working to find a job where I can utilize my education. I have a passion for food, animals (especially my dogs, cat, and horse!), and helping people, which led me to becoming a blogger! My personal blog is Simply Shannonagins, if you want to go check it out after you’re done here!
I am not new to the chronic illness world, but I am relatively new to fibro. I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) almost four years ago, but had symptoms starting at 16 years old. At first, IC was more annoying than anything. Yes, I had some pain, but more than anything I felt like I was always running to the bathroom. I never really got it under control, even with diet and lifestyle changes on top of medications. Then during my first year of graduate school, my IC symptoms started getting worse. I also started noticing debilitating fatigue, headaches, and back pain as time went on. It got to the point where all I would do is go to class and go back to bed. I’d eat from bed, do school work from bed, and only left my bed for select reasons. I was miserable and my mental health was at an all-time low as a result of the stress of graduate school combined with feeling awful all the time.
So, I chose to go on medical from graduate school, and it was the best decision I ever made. I moved back home to California to rest and get my symptoms under control. And to get my life back. When I got back to the West Coast, and started getting weekly treatments for my IC, I began telling my urologist about my other symptoms. She became concerned because those weren’t typically IC symptoms, which is what I had just assumed they were. My urologist said it sounded a lot like fibromyalgia, and that she wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it was, given its comorbidity with IC. So, she gave me a referral to a rheumatologist.
It took a while for that referral to actually turn into an appointment, but when it finally did, there was a massive sense of relief. I felt like maybe I’d start getting some answers. And after my new rheumatologists ran some tests to rule out other illnesses with similar symptoms, he officially gave me the fibromyalgia diagnosis. It was great to finally have a name for what had been making me so miserable. He started me on gabapentin and suggested some additional lifestyle changes, which both definitely helped. But I still haven’t found complete relief.
That being said, I recognize that this is very much a journey (as overused as that term can be sometimes). And I just started mine. I’m relearning my body’s limits, what causes flares, and how different things affect my body. I’m also learning to be more sensitive and empathetic to the struggles of others, as well as recognize that chronic illnesses, especially fibro, affects everyone differently. Treatments affect everyone differently. So it’s utterly vital to support and help each other through this challenge that is uniquely ours. You never know what could help somebody live their best, happiest life, despite their fibro.
So, my goal with the blog posts I’ll be writing for FibroAid is to foster a helpful, supportive, and positive community. There is so much that we can all learn from one another, and from the FibroAid team. I’m looking forward to our future discussions, ideas, suggestions, and support.
Now that you’ve heard my story, I want to hear yours! Comment below to tell me a little about yourself and your fibro journey!